Michael Wolff returns to the Net, with instant gaffe
When the Browser read Valleywag's report that Michael Wolff was thinking about an Internet startup, we reloaded the page. Twice. After determining that it wasn't a server glitch, we checked the calendar. Was this 1995? No, still 2006.
Wolff, the founder of Wolff New Media, chronicled the utter debacle of his '90s-era startup in Burn Rate, a book that savagely critiqued the Internet industry. Any reader of that broadside would have thought Wolff had had enough of the business. But apparently, Wolff is now in talks with Barry Diller's InterActiveCorp about starting a new Internet company. "I'm too old for social media. I've been talking to [IAC executive Michael Jackson] and others about a news idea," Wolff wrote in an email to Valleywag.
That comment alone suggests that Wolff is in for a repeat of the clueless flailing of his first Internet startup. News isn't social media? Tell that to Digg's Kevin Rose or AOL's Jason Calacanis. With newspapers in decline, local TV broadcasters starting to get worried, and bloggers starting to make serious money, it's hard to see how Wolff will be able to avoid the world of social media.
Ah well. With Wolff's track record so well-documented, Diller & Co. won't be able to see they hadn't been warned.
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